We really recommend that campaigners meet with their MP, or Members of Scottish Parliament, Members of the Senedd (Wales) and Member of the Legislative Assembly (Northern Ireland) to discuss the issues which affect people affected by eating disorders.
Whilst traditional face to face constituency surgeries are not taking place due to COVID 19, why not contact your local politician and ask if you can arrange a phone meeting? Some politicians are even offering constituency meetings online. Read our guide to planning a meeting with your local politician.
Charlie recently met with her MP virtually, and shared the experience with us:
"I decided to reach out to my MP because the announcement that there would be calories on menus alone really scared me. Had I been in an earlier stage of recovery, this new policy could very well have caused a relapse, so I felt I needed to speak up.
In the week before meeting with my MP I was very nervous. I almost cancelled the phone call because I was scared of possibly being triggered or having some sort of argument. Despite this fear, I pushed ahead with the phone call, and it went a lot better than I had expected. I decided not to prepare too much beforehand, because I tend to get flustered if I try and prepare a script to read.
When the meeting started, I did feel a little awkward, not knowing exactly when or how to start, but once I got going things seemed to flow better. The phone call was in itself quite short - about 15 mins. I spoke mostly, talking about why I was concerned about the proposals. My MP listened really attentively, and shared her thoughts and agreement for the points I was making. I felt heard, and understood - something I also didn’t expect. My MP agreed to write to the Minister who is heading the campaign to express the concerns I'd raised to her. She also said I’d be sent the reply, and if I wasn’t happy with the response then we could have another conversation to discuss where to go from there, which I really appreciated.
I felt really accomplished once the meeting ended, and really proud of myself. The experience was anxiety-provoking and also had the potential to be triggering, so I found it useful to plan what I was going to do after the phone call - something nice! Overall I would get in touch with my MP again, it was very rewarding."
And our Campaigner Bex talks here about her experiences of meeting with her MP, and what action her MP took as a result.